The Grand Rand Air Show held on the 20th of May was once again a resounding success. Thousands of people flocked through the gates from 7AM to come and enjoy this annual aviation spectacle. The show program was predominantly filled with civilian aircraft with the exception of an Atlas Impala, three L-39s and the latest addition to our air show scene, the Buckeye, all in private hands today.
The show started with a Chipmunk formation followed by a parachute drop from a DC-3 belonging to Daryl Lush. The DC-3 flew a beautiful fly-past once all the skydivers were on the ground to give the crowd an opportunity to hear the rumble of these great historic radial engines.
A helicopter flying as a camera ship sent live video throughout the day. This helicopter could easily have been part of the show as he impressed at times skilfully manoeuvring into unusual positions for better video coverage. However, he would have been red-carded a few times for flying over the crowd on the eastern side of the airport.
The Eqstra Harvard team entertained as usual but one thing that makes the Grand Rand Air Show so special is the traditional mass radial formation consisting of Harvards, Yaks and a DC-3.
We saw a few solo aerobatic acts during the day and I wonder how many people actually recognise the technical standards and class of these pilots. They may not make lots of noise but they definitely know how to fly.
It has been a while since we last saw a Jet formation team in South Africa and it was a welcome sight to see a four ship jet formation display participating again.
Mustang Sally roared through the skies but there is something missing in its solo display. The speed is very impressive but I think that this team should add another dimension to the routine to break this pendulum type show. She also flew with two Trojans on the day and that was nice.
Here's another Huey helicopter I haven't seen. Or is it just a new paint scheme?
I truly enjoyed the RV, Extra 300 and MX formation. It was clear that the RV was a little slow for the others but being in the lead and with the experience of the other two, it was awesome to say the least. I hope we will also see them at the other shows.
All in all another great air show to make us all proud!!!